For the last two years, Faviola, Carlos and their three kids – 9-year-old Alex, 7-year-old Bruce and 3-year-old Destiny – have been homeless. Right now they are living in temporary housing, but soon the five of them will crowd back into their van.
Family time, routine and nutritious food keep them going.
The family started receiving food from Second Harvest in 2010 when Alex, born with cerebral palsy, was a baby.
While living in the van, the family relies on the bagged lunches and prepared meals they receive at St. Joseph’s Family Center in Gilroy, one of Second Harvest’s partner agencies. On Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, they can get a hot supper. When the family is housed, they receive food boxes with fresh produce, eggs, dairy, meat and other nutritious groceries. Faviola reflected:
“I stay focused on the kids. If we couldn’t get the food, we would be a lot more stressed. Your whole self changes when you don’t eat. It’s really an awful feeling. Even with just two days of not eating, you don’t think right.”
She tries to keep life as normal as she can for the kids. The family likes to play games together, work on arts and crafts projects, and challenge each other to math problems. She takes them to the park after school so they can do exactly what kids should be doing. Laughing. Playing. Exploring.
Nutritious Food Offers Hope
Kids like Alex, Bruce and Destiny, with their bright, smiling faces light up our lives today and are our legacy for the future. But many of those smiles belie an increasingly stark reality: food insecurity.
This might come as a surprise given the wealth surrounding us here in Silicon Valley. But the high cost of housing in our area means access to nutritious food is a challenge, and in ways that defy stereotype. In fact, 1 in 3 kids in Silicon Valley is at risk of hunger.
You can help nourish our kids – the next generation of entrepreneurs and community leaders – by giving to Second Harvest. At the start of March, we launched our For the Kids campaign with the goal of raising $8.5 million to ensure that every child has the nutritious food they need to fully engage in their lives. Your support will help us expand our operations, open more school pantries and distribution sites and connect more kids and families to nutritious food.
Leading Local Efforts to Fuel Future Leaders
Nutritious food provides the fuel kids need to succeed in school, at the playground and for long-term health.
Recognizing that nutritious food is a game-changer, local tech leaders are co-chairing our For the Kids campaign: John Donahoe, CEO of ServiceNow; Eileen Donahoe, executive director of the Global Digital Policy Incubator at Stanford’s Center for Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law; Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn and partner at Greylock Partners; and Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and founder of Leanin.org.
You can trust that Second Harvest will spend your dollars in the most efficient and effective way possible to make a difference in the lives of local kids and families.
Over the last four years, we’ve increased the number of K-12 schools served through our pantry program from 14 to 133, and the number of colleges served from two to 11. That’s an increase of 850 percent and 450 percent respectively in just four years. With your help, we plan to open pantries and food distributions at six to 12 more schools and six more affordable housing complexes this year.
In addition to opening more school pantries and food distributions, Second Harvest is collaborating with our partners to get more federally funded meals into the community. We helped schools, libraries and summer camps leverage federal dollars and provided infrastructure like meal carts so they could serve more kids, enabling the delivery of more than 650,000 meals last summer.
With your support, Second Harvest is exploring new and innovative ways to reach more families and ensure that every child has the opportunity to grow up strong and healthy.
Take Action for the Kids
You can help ensure these kids realize their full potential and pursue their dreams.